#GrecoMonday: U.S. Junior athletes get two team trophies in Austria, now at an international training camp

By JD Rader, USA Wrestling | March 04, 2019, 5:58 p.m. (ET)
Led by a gold-medal performance from David Stepanian (Macomb, Mich./NMU-OTS), teams of U.S. athletes finished in second, fourth, and 10th at a competitive Austrian Junior Open tournament this past weekend in Gotzis, Austria.

Each year, NMU-OTS head coach Rob Hermann helps organize this trip, which includes some athletes from the NMU-OTS program, plus some athletes from the Elite Accelerator Program (EAP) and other UWW Junior eligible Greco-Roman athletes. Coach Lucas Steldt also helped organize and coach this group of U.S. wrestlers from across the nation. The athletes, their families and their clubs help fund this opportunity.

The way the tournament is set up, countries can only enter 10 wrestlers per team. The U.S. had two full teams and a third partial team, as 23 American athletes hit the mats. USA I came in second place with 54 points, USA II finished in fourth with 45 points, and USA III finished in tenth with 19 points.

“The guys wrestled really hard,” Coach Steldt said. “This year’s tournament was really tough. Hungary, France, Slovakia, and the Czech brought some really tough guys. The guys wrestled tough. This tournament was not a technique tournament. This was no tryout tournament; it was about fighting every second.”

Despite some travel issues due to weather that forced the team to arrive very close to weigh ins, the U.S. won a gold medal from Stepanian, a silver medal from Delon Kanari (Volo, Ill./NMU-OTS), and bronze medals from Haiden Drury (Toppenish, Wash.), Mason Hartshorn (Antioch, Calif./NMU-OTS), and Keaton Fanning (Bedford, Texas/NMU-OTS).

“I would say for the guys who are experiencing their first tour overseas, it’s probably a shell shocker because the level of competition is so high,” Steldt said. “But at the same time, it’s a wakeup call for them. Some of those first timers, like Haiden Drury, did very well. He came out pretty cold and dropped a one-point match to a French kid who was very tough, but he came back and battled very hard.”

This tour provides the opportunity for a number of international matches, which is very important for those at the UWW Junior level.

“For the guys we took with, we did very well,” Steldt said. “They wrestled hard and wrestled to the best of their abilities for the time they have in the sport. For the guys to overcome all of that (travel issues), come out with some placings, and take second as a first team and fourth as a second team, I was really happy.”

Finland won the tournament with 60 points.

U.S. wrestlers will now participate in a 5-day long training camp at the same facilities, where they will get the opportunity to train with six different international teams.

“These next four to five days is where the money and investment from each athlete is spent,” Steldt said. “Getting over here, training with these guys, getting hands on these foreigners, and getting that feel. This is where that investment comes into play.”

At Gotzis, Austria

55 kg
Gold - David Stepanin (USA)
Silver - Yazid Gharbi (France) FRA
Bronze - Haiden Drury (USA III)

60 kg
Gold - Rasul Isralipov (Switzerland) SUI
Silver - Delon Kenari (USA II)
Bronze - Mason Hartshorn (USA)

63 kg
Gold - Gagik Snjoyan (France)
Silver - Abere Fetene (Israel)
Bronze - Maurus Zogg (Switzerland)

67 kg
Gold - Elmer Mattila (Finland)
Silver - Al Obaidi Aker (Austria)
Bronze - Joni Komppa (Finland)

72 kg
Gold - Akseli Yli-Hannuksela (Finland)
Silver - Antonin Mader (France)
Bronze – Erik Löser (Germany)

77 kg
Gold - Thomas Dacher (France)
Silver – Yves Müllhaupt (Switzerland)
Bronze - Gergely Bak (Hungary)

82 kg
Gold - Istvan Takacs (Hungary)
Silver - Otto Ketonen (Finland)
Bronze - Anton Vieweg (Germany)

87 kg
Gold - Juho Pahikainen (Finland)
Silver - Christian Zemp (Switzerland)
Bronze - Keaton Fanning (USA)

97 kg
Gold - Markus Ragginger (Austria)
Silver - Loïc Samen (France)
Bronze - Alex Szoke (Hungary)

130 kg
Gold - Stefan Huster (Austria)

U.S. performances

55 kg/121 lbs. – Jacob Cochran (Pensacola, Fla./NMU-OTS), 5th place
LOSS Yazid Gharbi (France), tech. fall 9-0
LOSS Haiden Drury (USA), tech. fall 8-0
WON Carter Stephenson (USA), pin 1:21

55 kg/121 lbs. – Haiden Drury (Toppenish, Wash.), bronze medal
LOSS Yazid Gharbi (France), 7-6
WON Jacob Cochran (USA), tech. fall 8-0
WON Andre Silva (Portugal), tech. fall 10-0

55 kg/121 lbs. – David Stepanian (Macomb, Mich./NMU-OTS), gold medal
WON Andre Silva (Portugal), tech. fall 13-4
WON Carter Stephenson (USA), tech. fall 15-6
WON Yazid Gharbi (France), 4-4

55 kg/121 lbs. – Carter Stephenson (Colorado Springs, Colo./EAP), 6th place
LOSS David Stepanian (USA), tech. fall 15-6
LOSS Andre Silva (Portugal), tech. fall 8-0
LOSS Jacob Cochran (USA), pin 1:21

60 kg/132 lbs. – Mason Hartshorn (Antioch, Calif./NMU-OTS), bronze medal
WON Tarrell Wallace (USA), tech. fall 9-0
LOSS Rasul Isralipov (Switzerland), tech. fall 3-3
WON Gabriel Federa (Austria), tech. fall 11-0

60 kg/132 lbs. – Delon Kanari (Volo, Ill./NMU-OTS), silver medal
WON Gabriel Federa (Austria), tech. fall 8-0
WON Nick Leonetti (USA), pin 1:36
LOSS Rasul Isralipov (Switzerland), tech. fall 12-4

60 kg/132 lbs. – Nick Leonetti (Star, Idaho/Suples WC), 6th place
LOSS Gabriel Federa (Austria), tech. fall 9-0
LOSS Delon Kanari (USA), pin 1:36
LOSS Tarrell Wallace (USA), tech. fall 8-0

60 kg/132 lbs. – Tarrell Wallace (Opa Locka, Fla.), 5th place
LOSS Mason Hartshorn (USA), tech. fall 9-0
LOSS Rasul Isralipov (Switzerland), tech, fall 12-4
WON Nick Leonetti (USA), tech. fall 8-0

63 kg/138.5 lbs. – Adrian Gomez, 6th place
WON Cole Stephenson (USA), tech. fall 9-0
LOSS Abere Fetene (Israel), tech. fall 10-0
LOSS Sandor Kajtar (Slovakia), tech. fall 9-1

63 kg/138.5 lbs. – Erik Spence (Elk Grove, Calif./NMU-OTS), 8th place
LOSS Daniel Caldas (Portugal), tech. fall 8-0
LOSS Gagik Snjoyan (Fance), tech. fall 9-0

63 kg/138.5 lbs. – Cole Stephenson (Colorado Springs, Colo./EAP), 7th place
LOSS Adrian Gomez (USA), tech. fall 9-0
LOSS Sandor Kajtar (Slovakia), 10-5

67 kg/147.5 lbs. – Riley Briggs (Brentwood, Calif./NMU-OTS), 9th place
LOSS Elmer Mattila (Finland), tech. fall 8-0
WON Alex Beck (Sweden), tech. fall 12-1
LOSS Istvan Sluka (Slovakia), 10-6

67 kg/147.5 lbs. – Alec McDoulett (Newalla, Okla./Little Axe Wrestling), 10th place
WON Erik Persson (Sweden), tech. fall 11-2
LOSS Aker Al Obaidi (Austria), tech. fall 10-0
LOSS Michael Portmann (Switzerland), 5-4

67 kg/147.5 lbs. – Timmy Thompson (Houston, Texas/NMU-OTS), 11th place
LOSS Noah Wachsmuth (USA), tech. fall 9-0
LOSS Denis Mertl (Czech Republic), 6-0

67 kg/147.5 lbs. – Noah Wachsmuth (Happy Valley, Ore./EAP), 4th place
WON Timmy Thompson (USA), tech. fall 9-0
LOSS Erik Persson (Sweden), tech. fall 8-0
WON Michael Portmann (Switzerland), 9-5
LOSS Aker Al Obaidi (Austria), 10-6
LOSS Joni Komppa (Finland), tech fall 13-2

67 kg/147.5 lbs. – Britton Holmes, Peyton, Colo. (NMU-OTS), dnp/12th
LOSS Joni Komppa (Finland) 3-1
LOSS Elmer Mattila (Finland), 3-1

72 kg/158.5 lbs. – Zach Tolver (Fairbanks, Alaska/NMU-OTS), 5th place
LOSS Akseli Yli-Hannuksela (Finlad) 9-0
WON Jan Bozok (Czech Republic), tech. fall 8-0
LOSS Erik Loser (Germany) 9-2
WON Gadzimurad Pacuta (Czech Republic), tech. fall 11-1

77 kg/169.5 lbs. – Zachary Grimes (Yukon, Okla./NMU-OTS), 7th place
LOSS Banca Holocsi (Slovakia), tech. fall 19-8
LOSS David Zhytmoyrsky (Israel), tech. fall 8-0

82 kg/180.5 lbs. – DM Hallett (Littleton, Colo./NMU), 5th place
LOSS Istvan Takacs (Hungary), tech. fall 9-0
LOSS Zoltan Megaly (Slovakia), 2-0
LOSS Otto Ketonen (Finald), 4-0
LOSS Anton Vieweg (Germany), tech. fall 8-0

87 kg/191.5 lbs. – Keaton Fanning (Bedford, Texas/NMU-OTS), bronze medal
WON Patrick Mezei (Hungary), pin 0:53
LOSS Juho Pahikianen (Finland), 2-0
LOSS Christian Zemp (Switzerland), 7-3
WON Anti Haanpaa (Finalnd), tech. fall 8-0

97 kg/213.5 lbs. – Ryan Delgado (Doral, Fla./Garage Boyz Wrestling), 6th place
LOSS Markus Ragginger (Austria), tech. fall 8-0
LOSS Alex Szoke (Hungary), tech. fall 8-0
LOSS Faustin Lopez (USA), tech. fall 12-0

97 kg/213.5 lbs. – Faustin Lopez (Denver, Colo./NMU-OTS), 5th place
LOSS Loic Samen (France), 4-2
WON Kaleb Gaede (USA), tech. fall 16-8
LOSS Karl Marbach (Germany), tech. fall 8-0
WIN Ryan Delgado (USA), tech. fall 12-0

97 kg/213.5 lbs. – Kaleb Gaede (Limon, Colo./NMU-OTS), 7th place
LOSS Karl Marbach (Germany), 1-1
LOSS Faustin Lopez (USA), tech. fall 16-8

Team Standings
1. Finland, 60 pts.
2. USA 54
3. France, 47
4. USA II, 45
5. Switzerland, 41
6. Hungary, 39
7. (tie) Slovakia and Austria, 36
9. Germany, 23
10. USA III, 19
(of 14 teams)